School Council President Report – Term 1, 2019

Dear Fitzroy High School Community,

After four years serving as President of the School Council, Kath Boyer has “retired”.  Kath has done an amazing job as President and member of School Council.  We thank her for all of her commitment, energy and effort over many years.  Kath leaves an important legacy, including long term support for the great improvements we have seen in the school environment, the vibrant and high quality performance program and, of course, the improved canteen facilities!  Kath has also been tireless behind the scenes improving school council processes to allow it to focus more effectively on supporting school leadership, staff and students.  

At the recent March meeting of the School Council, I was elected to the role of President by the new School Council.  For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Ralph Saubern.  I have two kids, a boy and a girl, in Year 9.  I’ve worked in education for many years, originally as a teacher and now for an educational research institute.  I’ve valued the opportunity to make a contribution to the school as a School Council member over the last two years, including as Treasurer for the past 18 months. I have a particular interest in educational technology and last year I was asked by school leadership to lead a review into the use of digital technology at Fitzroy High School. 

Stepping into Kath’s shoes is a daunting task but one that I take on with the knowledge that we have a strong School Council and great school community to work with.  This year, as School Council President, I am hoping to focus on a few key areas.  One is to complete the three School Council working group reviews currently in process (languages education, digital technology and reporting) and hand those reports over to school leadership for consideration.  Another is to support school leadership as we step further along the process of establishing the new senior school campus at the Gasworks.  Fundraising is another area that I would like to focus on.  The Fitzroy High School community has been incredibly generous and engaged with fundraising and we have seen the many benefits to our students and community.  I am interested in ways that we can further improve and focus our fundraising efforts and outcomes.  Finally, I am hoping to continue work to streamline and improve processes in School Council and the subcommittees to ensure that we spend more time focusing on important issues relating to school facilities, education, health and wellbeing and fundraising.

Other positions that were decided at the March School Council meeting were as follows:

  • Vice-President:  David Huxtable
  • Treasurer: Sharon Cleaves
  • Convener of Education Subcommittee: Marina Henley
  • Convener of Buildings and Environment Subcommittee: Roger Smith
  • Convener of Community Subcommittee: Ian Taylor

The conveners of the subcommittees have particularly important roles.  The three subcommittees are where we discuss the details of issues that come to the School Council and make recommendations about the use of parent donated funds for buildings and grounds, health and wellbeing, library, performing arts and scholarships.  Subcommittee meetings are open to all parents to attend and contribute to, as are School Council meetings.  Details of when subcommittee meetings are held and the minutes of the meetings can be found under the documentation tab in Compass.

Apart from electing new School Council officers, at the March meeting, the School Council endorsed the school Annual Report prepared by Acting Principal Linda Mitchell, ratified the February school finances report and gave approval for the Great Victorian Bike Ride camp.  You can find the minutes for all School Council meetings in Compass a few days after each meeting.

If you have something you would like to raise with School Council or would like to know more about getting involved with subcommittees or other volunteering opportunities, please feel free to contact me at


School Council President